Paper Mill Playhouse season 2015-16

Screen grab of the image for the world premiere of "A Bronx Tale," directed by Robert DeNiro and Jerry Zaks.Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2015-’16 season –its 77th — features five musicals and two world premieres, one of which looks destined for Broadway and will be helmed by Robert DeNiro. What?!

A-list Broadway types will be swarming the Millburn (NJ) theater for A Bronx Tale,” which  will be directed by  two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro and four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks. Music is by Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater with a book by Chazz Palminteri. Based on his acclaimed one-man show, it’s a complex love story set against the backdrop of racial strife and organized crime in the 1960s. Choreography by Sergio Trujillo. Performances Feb. 4-March 6.

“Bandstand”

The season opens with the world-premiere musical Bandstand, directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler and featuring Broadway Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes (“Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” “Bonnie and Clyde”), Corey Cott (“Newsies,” “Gigi”) and Tony Award winner Beth Leavel (“The Drowsy Chaperone,” “42nd Street”). Book and lyrics by Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor and music by Richard Oberacker.  This sizzling new big-band musical is the story of a mismatched band of WWII veterans who dream of a better life. They join together to compete in a national radio contest with a prize that will guarantee instant stardom to the winners. Performances Oct, 8-Nov. 8, 2015

Screen grab of logo for "A Christmas Story" musical on the schedule for the 2915-2016 season at Paper Mill Playhouse.Just in time for Christmas,  A Christmas Story: The Musical, straight from Broadway, based on the legendary 1983 movie narrated and co-written by Jean Shepherd and based on his childhood in Hammond, Indiana. Join Ralphie and friends as this classic Christmas film comes to life on the Paper Mill stage in a dazzling musical that captures holiday wonder with such deliciously wicked wit that it is sure to delight children and grown-ups alike. Performances Nov. 25-Jan. 3. Autistm-friendly performance 1:30 p.m. Dec. 29.

Screen grab of logo for "Pump Boys and Dinettes" musical on the schedule for the 2915-2016 season at Paper Mill Playhouse.“Pump Boys and Dinettes”

Next spring, Paper Mill Playhouse heats up the northeast with Pump Boys and Dinettes, a musical full of joy, a little bit of heartbreak and lots of hilarity. A little rest stop on Highway 57 in North Carolina is where all the action is—once the boys get that guitar and bass fiddle revved up, you won’t want to be anywhere else. Pump Boys and Dinettes is a countrified musical packed with highly entertaining toe-tappers. Performances April 6-May 1.

Screen grab of logo for "West Side Story" musical on the schedule for the 2915-2016 season at Paper Mill Playhouse. “West Side Story”

Finally, Paper Mill Playhouse will close its 77th season with the stunning, trailblazing, and legendary musical that set the bar for all musical theater, West Side Story. The score is a musical masterpiece by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.  The songs of “West Side Story” have become part of American culture.  You must not miss this passionate and magnificent new production.
“What a thrill to produce two world-premiere musicals in one season.” Performances June 1-26.

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News and views of New Jersey's regional theaters, and bits about Broadway.

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